Global Warming’s Cheap, Effective Solution

Much of the current debate about how to combat global warming remains focused on cutting carbon, but there are many ways to go about repairing the global climate. But climate engineering - deliberately manipulating the Earth’s climate - would cost much less and bring greater benefits far more quickly.

COPENHAGEN – Global warming will mean that more people die from the heat. There will be a rise in sea levels, more malaria, starvation, and poverty. Concern has been great, but humanity has done very little that will actually prevent these outcomes. Carbon emissions have kept increasing, despite repeated promises of cuts.

We all have a stake in ensuring that climate change is stopped. We turned to climate scientists to inform us about the problem of global warming. Now we need to turn to climate economists to enlighten us about the benefits, costs, and possible outcomes from different responses to this challenge.

World leaders are meeting in Copenhagen this December to forge a new pact to tackle global warming. Should they continue with plans to make carbon-cutting promises that are unlikely to be fulfilled? Should they instead delay reductions for 20 years? What could be achieved by planting more trees, cutting methane, or reducing black soot emissions? Is it sensible to focus on a technological solution to warming? Or should we just adapt to a warmer world?

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